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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX TUE JUNE 08, 2004 11:02:52 ET XXXXX
CLINTON DISAPPOINTMENT: LEFT OFF FUNERAL SPEAKERS LIST
Former President Bill Clinton has privately expressed anger he has apparently been left off the speakers list of Friday's Reagan State Funeral, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
"President Clinton really held out all hope the funeral would be a nonpartisan event, like Nixon's was," a top Clinton source said on Tuesday morning. "He's angry and disappointed neither he nor President Carter have been asked to speak, as of yet."
The top source says Clinton has been critical that both Bush presidents will address the crowd gathered at National Cathedral.
Nixon's vice president Gerald Ford did not speak at Nixon's funeral.
Clinton's inner circle is convinced Nancy Reagan has personally shut out Clinton from any high-profile participation.
"It is a state funeral, using tax dollars," the top Clinton insider explained.
Former President George H.W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will join President Bush in eulogizing Ronald Reagan, Reagan's office announced. Presiding over the service will be former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, who is an ordained Episcopal priest. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the Rabbi Harold Kusher will give readings, while Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will sing.
The eulogy is being prepared by President Bush's chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson, who also wrote the president's moving speech for a memorial service in the same cathedral after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
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